wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
"Eschatology as design challenge" -- here's an article on ending worlds in online games. Sadly, the article doesn't really live up to that quote, but it's interesting nonetheless. Via [livejournal.com profile] thesaucernews.


What! World Wide Words says that "weave" as in "cloth" (past tense "wove") is a different word from "weave" as in "zig-zag" (past tense "weaved") here. I'm unable to confirm this in Partridge's Origins, which doesn't directly address "weave back and forth." But fascinating if true! More at the link about "strong verbs" where the past tense is still formed using the ablaut process (sang, drove, grew).


I figured that since [livejournal.com profile] toratigris was packing spices that there was something different about the spice situation in Korea and Japan. Wow, that seems to be the case. Korean & Japan are quite similar in a lot of respects but not, it seems, when it comes to the popularity of "Western"-style baking and cooking. There's a long discussion on Dave's ESL Cafe from a Korea-based EFL teacher who's moving to Japan and can't believe the reassurances from Japan-based teachers that it's easy to buy "cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, oregano, paprika, parsley, black or white pepper, sweet basil, bay leaf, cayenne pepper (powdered or dried/whole), turmeric, cumin, Italian seasoning," and nearly everything except dill easily in any Japanese city. Towns and villages are another matter, I hear (and have no doubt), but with the train networks, I imagine it's still doable.


[livejournal.com profile] assaultdoor's best friend, an apparently straight guy raised in Bakersfield and other non-touchy-feely parts of the US, always ends his phone calls with "Love ya!" I really admire this. It may be partly his family's tradition or his ethnic background or something that lets him feel comfortable doing this, but either way, it probably takes some nerve on some level. I'd like to occasionally express my love for my closest friends, but I am a pretty non-demonstrative person (whether that's due to my personality or partly influenced by my buttoned-up German and British Isles cultural heritage, I couldn't say). Anyway, if I do express such at some point, it doesn't express any change in my feelings, just an attempt to be a little more honest. :P You never know when you'll never get a chance to say it again.


This CD that got left out of the box is not going in because it kills me that there's still 200+ MB left on it, and I want to tweak it more anyway. EDIT: No, the box isn't going today because I suck and it's 2 PM and I haven't eaten yet and the box is not yet addressed and I will fall down if I have to go to the post office first FAIL.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Dear more-British-English-speaking friends, I'm prevailing upon you for your kind assistance once again.

As an adult, would/do you use the word "sweeties" or the word "sweets" or something else to refer to candy and confectionery? And which variety of English do you speak?

I did see what Wikipedia has to say on the matter (don't look! just tell me what you think!) but I don't really trust it, and Google's not very useful for this kind of thing.

I'm asking because there is a tendency among my Japanese clients to say "sweeties" in this case, and it sounds extremely strange in US English, because here that exclusively means "sweetheart" and makes them all sound inadvertently polyamorous or pimptastic ("I'll bring you some sweeties from Tokyo! What kind of sweeties do you like?") However, comma, I am aware that they won't remain in the US forever and when they have a vocabulary word (either as a loanword or something they learned in a British-oriented or archaic textbook) that's unacceptable in the US and acceptable elsewhere, I like to tell them why and where they can and can't use it.

Japanese has a fair number of loanwords from different countries according to which country introduced the item into Japan or became the most successful company selling the item in Japan, and sometimes it's just a tossup between British words and more American words. They also tend to use the word "cake" in a more British way, where if an American says "I'm bringing cakes," they mean they're bringing multiple full size, 8-20+-serving cakes, but if a Japanese person says it, they mean they're bringing several individual-serving pastries or some slices of cake or some cupcakes.

Oh, and I ran into the notion from a British person once that Americans never said "sweets" and only said "candy," so you might wonder why I'm asking. We DO say "sweets" sometimes, even though it sounds a bit formal, because "candy" doesn't include pastry, so it's necessary--particularly when a Japanese person wants to talk about traditional Japanese tea accompaniments. Only a tiny handful of these really qualify as candy OR pastry, so the word "sweets" becomes really necessary. (Check out some wagashi here. Warning: lots of photos; not dial-up friendly. Or you can view some for spring, summer, autumn [which I've also been informed that Americans NEVER say, LOL], and winter.)

Thank you!

(edited to say "Traditional Japanese tea accompaniments" rather than "desserts and," because they're not really desserts.)

EDIT: Okay, feel free to keep commenting, but at this point I think my instinct that British people don't really go around saying "Mm, lunch was a bit salty; got any sweeties stashed in your desk drawer?" has been confirmed to be correct. Although an American would not be likely to say "any sweets" here, it would sound a hell of a lot less weird than "any sweeties." (We'd probably say "anything sweet" or "any candy.")

Errata

Mar. 3rd, 2009 02:51 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Edited to add: Go check out [livejournal.com profile] springfluff's userinfo if you are in need of cheering up and can think of something of which you are a fan (you know, a TV show or something) and so could request or make a virtual or real gift relating to it, even if you're not necessarily a part of "fandom." [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija and [livejournal.com profile] yhlee are trying to cheer up the Internets!


It's pretty wet outside, but I wouldn't say it's been "pouring" like the local people claim it is--I almost never have to turn my wipers past low in Bay Area rain "storms." On the other hand, the wind last night down in southern San Jose was genuinely alarming. And it's definitely been raining steadily--I'm getting a bit worried as to whether my sidewalk is going to flood.


One of those "rules" of "correct English" that I have problems with is possessive+gerund in certain phrases where I tend to use the object pronoun+gerund instead. Good to know that it's not just me being strange (OK, I did that one on purpose :P): according to Language Log, there is ample and educated precedent.


Male and female paycheck graph from the NY Times (honestly, I've started posting this kind of thing to Facebook--I see why [livejournal.com profile] starfishncoffee started to do that more and more; it's just easier than posting individual items like that to LJ.)


The economy, I has stimulated it. I went to B&N and bought The Demon and the City: A Detective Inspector Chen Novel by [livejournal.com profile] mevennen, as part of my goal of supporting authors by buying their books new more regularly. This series is really good and you should read it if you like urban fantasy and Asian settings, and don't mind a bit of cyberpunk and nanotech mixed in. (And it has plenty of nonwhite characters, and it's not all just East Asian-white like in a lot of Asian-set fiction, either, and there are characters who aren't straight, too. Very refreshing! And there's a badger that turns into a teakettle! What more do you need?)

Alas, not available on Kindle, although there is a "Tell the publisher! I'd like to read this book on the Kindle!" link on the left. Just one click; no need to fill anything out. So I clicked. The first book, ditto.

I also bought Curry Cuisine from the discount book section as a random gift for [livejournal.com profile] assaultdoor, who is a curry-of-all-colors nut--it has a modern from-scratch recipe for Japanese curry, so we'll want to try that. It has curries from all over India, of course, but also the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Burma, Pakistan, Malaysia, Cambodia, the Caribbean, Britain, Africa, etc. Awesome (sauce).

And one more book for a friend.

And at Lane Bryant I bought three turtlenecks (rose, grey, black; all thin enough that I can probably wear them 7-8 months of the year here), a pair of soft blue pajamas with venetian lace trim that are decent enough to wear in front of other people (e.g., at the conference with roommate), a long-sleeved black t-shirt (good for layering), a bra, and a pretty strange-looking black and teal shirt (can't direct link to the black/teal one) that looked surprisingly good on, I guess because it actually has shaping for once. The one I bought looks much less like a snakeskin pattern, for the record. The total was about $50 plus tax. I will be good and go complain about the bra on the clothing filter.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
I would love to be able to read this Japanese Wikipedia article on "Engrish."

I ran across it because I was looking for a longer list like this of supposed English loanwords that are used in Japanese and either are incomprehensible to non-Japanese English speakers or are understandable but sound strange (like saying "mug-cup" instead of "mug"). [livejournal.com profile] sho_sunaga put me onto the original 和製英語 ("made-in-Japan English") article that led me there. One of my students really wants to know which words she needs to change or avoid, which I think is a very good idea. It's great that she has these words to draw on, but just like a native English speaker going to France, it's dangerous to use familiar words willy-nilly without realizing that the meanings and pronunciations of the French mutated when they entered English.

Between the two lists I should be able to put together a good list, but the problem is that I don't know which of these Japanese words are actually really common and which I don't need to worry about teaching to my clients because no one really uses them anyway. :P I can take a guess at which are more common, of course ...
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Bought myself the new (well, March 2008) Rough Guide to Japan as a birthday present. Not sure what's up with that "cosu-play" spelling (or the "fantasy role-play" reference, but whatever). Don't think they updated the Kurashiki section at all. Totally confused by a few of the Britishisms (which I'm usually fairly good with), such as "carnet ticket," which I just looked up and is apparently both British and generally European. (EDIT: I should note that 99% of the British terms in the book are comprehensible to me, so it really stands out to me when they're not!)

(Does everybody know this word except me? If you haven't spent time in the UK or EU, would you know what it meant without looking it up?)

I'm curious as to Rough Guide's editorial policy: do they just use whatever dialect of British English that their writer happens to use, or do they attempt to internationalize it (and occasionally fail), or do they have different editions like Harry Potter (which also sometimes failed, as when they forgot to Americanize the "jumper" that Mrs. Weasley made for Ron)? I don't think they do have different editions, and it seems that ignoring non-British dialects would be a foolish idea for an international guidebook ... I'm not sure what the ideal is. I mean, for Harry Potter I thought making two editions was stupid, because I grew up reading British books and I thought the language was part of the charm--and, of course, they didn't catch everything anyway. But clarity is more important in a guidebook, so it seems like it might be better to try to write it with words that are dialect-neutral, or to explain things briefly. I noticed that sometimes they use different dialects' synonyms together in a single paragraph or sentence, such as "torch" and "flashlight," which is a pretty good way to get around things. Well, and other things should be obvious to anyone who speaks any dialect of English, such as writing "get round" instead of "get around," so there's no need to change it.

Anyway, I'm enjoying reading and dreaming about going back. :) It's a good review of history, etc., too. I need to read some historical fiction again one of these days; it's always been a better way for me to get the timelines and personalities of history into my memory compared to lists of names and dates.



P. S. Please, don't take this as an opportunity to make remarks about British English being the only correct English and so on; it's historically short-sighted and linguistically absurd. I know it's obnoxious when Americans think American English should be the worldwide norm, and it's ridiculous when British editions of software default to American English, etc., etc., but that doesn't make it okay to be snotty, catty, flip, condescending, or insulting to the American friends who aren't responsible for any of that. It really gets on my nerves, and kind of hurts my feelings since I am a professional English teacher. I guess it's an automatic kneejerk reaction for some to any mention of English standards by Americans, but seriously, please save it for the people who deserve it.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (get fuzzy-footnotes-me)
I keep seeing or hearing these (admittedly very minor) errors over and over lately. I ran into all three today, actually. They don't interfere with meaning, so I shouldn't be annoyed by them, I guess ... but they drive me up the wall anyway!

1. Phenomena: It's a plural. "Several phenomena." The singular is phenomenon: "A phenomenon." I've heard multiple financial experts using "phenomena" as a singular this week on the radio. Argh! IT'S A PLURAL NOUN. You want "phenomenon!" (Doot doodoot doo!)

2. Withdrawl: A misspelling. Or, as the old joke goes, "how Southerners speak." The correct spelling for the state you enter when you can't get something you're addicted to or what you do when you panic and take your money out from the bank is withdrawal. Don't withdraw the second a from "withdrawal!"

3. Weary: It means "tired" or "worn out." "Wary" is the word people intend to use, and it means "cautious of," suspicious," etc.

What's been bugging you lately?
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Do you say "I bought some cakes" meaning "I bought multiple sweet single-serving baked goods?"

I know Japanese people say this and mean it this way, but I can't recall whether it works that way in British English too.

Most Americans would mean "I bought more than one multi-serving cake" if they said "cakes." To mean "multiple single-serving items" I think we'd say "some pastries" or treats or goodies or sweets or the specific item (cupcakes, danishes, doughnuts, etc.). Right? Or am I crazy there too?



P. S. I love my town! I got a doorknob flyer and didn't look at it closely--but I should have! It's for a place called "Pizza & Curry!" They also have things like paneer masala pizza (making them the second fusion pizza place in town). How awesome is that? I guess it'd be one of the first curry delivery places in the area, although curry restaurants and Indian restaurants in general abound. That ad for some British airline last year advertising that we benighted Americans could hop on a plane and go to LONDON and have CURRY OMG!!!!! was clearly written by someone who'd never been to the Bay Area, where curry and chaat shops are everywhere. But I'll admit we've been behind in the field of delivery curry...

http://www.pizzaandcurry.com/ baby!
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (vforvendetta-cleolinda-eehee a girl!)
Cut for reproductive organs and vague language )

I know I should have asked, but I was not especially comfortable at that moment.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
I need practice, sigh.

Anyway, I'm doing this for a client--recording lines from an English practice book he has. The lines are sometimes ... a little strange.

"The receptionist at that company is gorgeous."

"I become complacent."

"I appease my subordinate."

You know, like you do.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
I forgot to mention that the other day [livejournal.com profile] toratigris came over and showed me the basics of how to crochet. Boy, it was like my hands were broken alien marionettes. Just couldn't get 'em to cooperate. But eventually I understood the basics of what we were doing, and I even crocheted a little strip of something. Sadly, though, because I'm SO bad at learning physical stuff, I think she's going to have to show me all over again next time. But I hope there is a next time. :) I think it has the potential to be fun.


Someone with medical knowledge go fix the strep throat article on Wikipedia. It's almost incomprehensible in parts. There are a lot of run-on sentences, some of which can't be fixed if you don't know what you're talking about.

Man, I wish I could go to the doctor on Sundays... *groan*


Another note on the "projectile" discussion: Merriam-Webster online gives "projectul" as the first pronunciation, and "project-tile" as the second. I wonder if this is a recent shift (assuming your overwhelming preference for the latter is standard). One problem with dictionaries as guides to English "as she is spoke" is that they tend to be a generation or three behind the times.

And a random personal note: As a kid and young adult I had to actively learn to pronounce words like "futile" and "sterile" and "missile" etc. etc. in the SAE way instead of with a long i. I don't think this was because of any British influence on my speech, but because of learning the words from books instead of hearing them. (And yes, I know the long i is standard in some other AE dialects, but they're not ones I speak otherwise, so it would sound pretty out-of-place.) Anyway, it's annoying that SAE isn't consistent on this point--we don't say "reptill," after all.


Dear Firefox Developers,

I don't appreciate your Windows Vista-like efforts to keep me from controlling my own environment. Your caching is so aggressive that I can't check updates I'm making to my websites, and you've seen fit to get rid of the option that let me turn off caching. I guess I'll go play with about:config ...

No love,
Me


By the way, for [livejournal.com profile] unkyrich's New Year's Eve party I made something called butter mochi, using the recipe from the nifty 'Ono Kine Grindz blog. It's something a Japanese-American classmate of mine from Japanese class at CSUEB made and brought to class once. I assume it's a result of Hawai'i's fusion of Japanese and other culinary traditions--even the name is kind of shocking to most Japanese people, I think. However, it's very tasty, satisfying, wonderfully chewy, and not too sweet--although it is rather rich. Apparently it's also good toasted in a toaster oven. Anyway, it's pretty easy to make, so give it a try if you feel adventurous.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
"Projectile" most closely rhymes with
a) while, bile, erectile, dial
b) fossil, sterile Merrill, rectal

(this Wikipedia article has me wondering if It's Just Me.)

If A, have you ever heard an American pronounce it as B?
If B ... well, same thing. ;)

EDIT: I know I should have made this a real poll, but there is too much goo in my head for complicated things like that.

And, of course, if non-USA folks have comments on this, I'm always interested--the question is just USA-oriented because the claim in the article is.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (kogura_shinobu-EH?!-me)
"Donut" *may* be an acceptable spelling, but "doughnut" is damned well not incorrect!

Buh?

Jul. 13th, 2007 02:18 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Legendary Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto knows when his grand vision of video games for the masses has arrived.

"When my relatives start talking to me about video games, then I'll know that I have succeeded," the brainchild behind "Donkey Kong" and other hits said at this week's E3 Media and Business Summit.
("Microsoft, Sony to Play Nintendo's Game.")

I don't think that word means what they think it means.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Rules no one teaches but everyone learns. This is one example of why it is more important to have a well-trained teacher than one whose only qualification is being a native speaker. A well-trained non-native speaker can run circles around an untrained native speaker in a lot of ways.

I don't know if there's research to back it up, but I think the ideal situation for teaching, at least in linguistically homogeneous situations, would be the same as for translation: two well-trained individuals, one from the target language background and one from the local language background.

(I'm still looking for a language school in Japan and language classes in the Bay Area where they teach Japanese with relatively up-to-date pedagogical methods--for example, task-based, communicative, etc. If anyone knows anything, drop me a line. When I asked the place I was interested in going to--the Yamasa Institute--about their teaching methods, they said "We use the direct method." And that's not really good enough--all it means is that the language of instruction is Japanese.)

Unrelatedly, [livejournal.com profile] assaultdoor wants to change mouse-click behavior in Firefox 2 (i.e., change something from the default of control-click to shift-click, or something) and can't find a way to do that. Any ideas? TabMix doesn't do it anymore.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Pearson's website after a search:

Sorry, no results where found for search term "Understanding and Using English Grammar".

(Pearson is one of the biggest ESL and education publishers. Aaugh!)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
If you're going to bitch this much about Korean usage of English, you should probably try to avoid having so many grammar and syntax errors yourself.

Y'know.

EDIT: And in totally unrelated news, but to spare you another post on your friends list: Delicious carcinogens in your soda, yay!
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
The following phrases have been found in Chronicle headlines on SFGate.com in the last day or two: "arson school," "molest charges," "maul couple."

No, no, no.

And no.

These headlines may be short on character count but they're also very difficult to read and understand quickly. (What are they saving, anyway--pixels? Cheaper than ink last time I checked...)

This is why I encourage my English students to read things other than newspapers, or if they must read newspapers, to keep in mind that the headlines are terrible examples of English. And I'm not even objecting in terms of violating grammar rules (such as dropping articles, which is frequent). No, I'm objecting because of the lack of clarity and comprehensibility.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (ghibli-totoro-laughing-me)
Or is this a re-run? Oh well, either way, I was very amused by this installment of Ask Mr. Language Person. It's [livejournal.com profile] m_catesque.

Just remember, confused writers: "Whose" is the past paramilitary form of "whomsoever" and is properly used in veterinary interrogations.

Bwahahah.

Nifty!

May. 28th, 2006 08:48 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Kenneth G. Wilson (1923–). The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993.

EDITED ENGLISH

is a hypothetical printed level of the language, essentially Formal in character, the written dialect, so to speak, as edited and printed by this country’s leading commercial publishers and most reputable journals and university presses. It is conservative in usage matters of all sorts, and thanks to its stylebooks and editors, its standards tend to be fairly self-perpetuating, at least over the short range. Even the most stylistically liberal of newspapers and journals will rarely find Edited English too constrained or stuffy for their pages, even though they may not require that their writers always meet all the standards Edited English itself would insist on. The main reason not to try to imitate Edited English in all your language use, however, is that it is a written, not a spoken, form of English. It rarely imitates the lower levels of American English speech, therefore, and when your writing calls for such imitation, you should look to other versions of Standard English for your models, rather than to Edited English alone: compare, for example, We were working at top speed (Edited English) to We were working flat out (Casual or Impromptu level). But for your Formal and Semiformal writing, Edited English will do pretty well for nearly all written occasions.

Source: http://www.bartleby.com/68/22/2122.html

I'm trying to figure out whether this makes more sense or less than notions of Academic English and Formal English. At any rate, it's something I want to learn more about.

In other English news, I had no idea that "glamour" and "grammar" share an origin. I had to confirm it in Partridge, but it's true! When you think of the words "gramarye" and "grimoire" (at least, if you're conscious of "glamour" as in "magic spell"), you start to see the connection. As Partridge says, "all learning is mysterious to the illiterate."

Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] tesol_forum.

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wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
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